Instagram For The Fame of Jesus
At the beginning of this year, I almost quit Instagram and social media altogether. My heart was in a deep struggle. Through the scrolling and the posting I found a lack of encouragement and noticed that my heart was prone to be filled with an overload of information and a self-centered point of view. At the time, I had just begun creating stationery and art prints for Life Lived Beautifully and longed for it to make a difference. (It wasn't until April that the Lord gave me the dream for the "Give Me Jesus" Journal.) I didn't want to post another picture that people would scroll past and not pay attention to. I wanted each word and each post to matter for the Kingdom.
I remember debating with the Lord whether or not social media could truly be used for His glory. I talked to my husband about how free I would feel to completely erase it all and never come back to the constant time waster of scrolling away precious moments. But then the Lord stopped me in my tracks one day and gripped my heart with the gospel again. If I were to give up social media completely, I would be losing an opportunity to share Christ with people I will never meet. I wanted to throw my hands up in the air in defeat, but God wanted me to put them to use for His Kingdom. In January, I decided that instead of quitting Instagram, I would use it in every way that I could to make much of Christ.
Immediately there was a change. Posting about what God was teaching me and the incredible truths in His Word brought great joy to my heart. It was the reason I even began Life Lived Beautifully. The intent of Life Lived Beautifully is to be a ministry and encouragement to women around the world. God placed a desire in my heart to make much of Him through Instagram, so I spent time writing down why and how I would Instagram:
- I will only post beauty, truth and grace.
- I will ask myself, does this point to Jesus or me?
- I will only post what will encourage and build up.
- I will only post words of life.
- I will daily encourage someone I don’t know.
- I will rejoice in the the things happening in other people’s lives.
- I will reach out to those in need.
- I will share the Gospel through word, picture and action.
- I will not post something that glorifies myself.
- I will not post something that may make someone stumble, envious or feel like they are not enough.
- I will not post something that will make someone think too highly of me.
- I will not post something that I would compare myself to.
This is still the list that I use to post on Instagram. I don't post for followers or for likes, I post for the fame of my Savior. God is creating an incredible community of women who are sharing their stories boldly and proclaiming the love of Christ through their feed. This isn't self-promoting or self-exalting, but gospel-driven and Christ-centered. They are celebrating His truth and celebrating the Word of God together. Many of you would agree with me that posting pictures on social media isn't to showcase my Bible or my coffee, it is to showcase the One who has captured my heart.
Kara Good wrote an incredible blog post on the intentions of our heart in posting on social media in response to the video "Christian Girl Instagram." When I first saw this video, my heart ached. Is this what people think when I post pictures of the Word? It brought me back again to my questions and doubts I had in January. Satan wants nothing more than to steal, kill, and destroy our witness. He wants to discourage us and distract us from the goodness of the gospel. As a follower of Christ who desires to post for His glory, I felt hurt. I long for Christ to be made much of in everything that we do. When it comes down to it, the Lord knows why we do what we do. He knows when we post out of selfish ambition of holy adoration. But we, as believers and followers of Jesus, can choose to share Christ and encourage others through the platform God gives us. We can do this without shame and without fear of man. We can do this to worship the One, True God.
Instagram is unique because we pair a picture with words. We are creatures who love beauty and images. I am a visual learner and love the art of photography. Directing my creativity and photography to pictures of God's Word brings joy and life to my heart. It is a way that I can magnify my Savior. In the Old Testament, God directed Moses to choose specific people who were talented in the arts to create the curtains and adornments for the temple. (Exodus 36:1-9) He specifically put in in the hearts of Bezalel, Oholiab and other skilled people to do God's work as He commanded. God is a part of our creating and even our posting on social media. He puts specific things on our hearts to share for His glory. God is the Creator of creativity. He is the Author of all beauty. He specifically skills us all in certain ways to worship Him through what we do. A doctor worships God through his/her surgeries and ability to work with the human body. A seamstress worships God through her sewing and creating of beautiful clothing. An artist worships God through his/her paint brush. I worship God through creating art with Him and sharing it with others.
I see beauty in the Word of God and want to display it in the most beautiful way. Not because I feel His Word needs anything else to make it beautiful, but simply because I love it and honor it. The temple didn't need elaborate curtains to house the presence of God. The high priest didn't need to have an exquisite covering to wear to go before the Lord. But God directed this in the hearts of men to glorify Him through their art. He is honored in the beautiful masterpieces that are made and consecrated to Him. This is the same reason I post pictures that draw women to see the beauty of God's Word and the glory of the Gospel. And I know this the heart behind countless other women who post pictures of their Bible as well.
We post to make much of Jesus. We post to share Christ with those we may never meet. We post for the fame of our Savior in the power of the Holy Spirit.1 Timothy 1:7 tells us "For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline." God has given us an incredibly creative and powerful avenue to share His love. We shouldn't shy away from sharing His truth, but we should check the motives of our hearts each day before we post a single thing anywhere.
As Christian women, let's not be ashamed or embarrassed of posting God's truth and glorifying Him in pictures and words.We are going to mess up. We are still creatures in constant need of a Savior. But let's remember the treasure of the Gospel. When we mess up and post out of selfish gain, God can still use it for His glory and He can change us in the process. And when we post out of a deep love and affection for Christ, we walk even deeper in fellowship with Him. I don't want to miss the joy of knowing Him more through my mistakes and through my worship. I don't want to miss this precious community that is forming on Instagram of women sharing their faith and pictures of their Bibles unashamedly. I will continue to post for the fame of Jesus.
In His love,